Haun Appalachian literature conference goes virtual

Published 7:32 am Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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Walters State Community College will celebrate the legacy of author Mildred Haun with virtual events through February. Haun was born in the Dover community of Hamblen County and wrote “The Hawk’s Done Gone.” The anthology is considered one the best examples of Appalachian literature.

“The Mildred Haun Conference: A Celebration of Appalachian Literature, Scholarship and Culture” usually takes place the first weekend of February. With the pandemic limiting opportunities to gather, this year’s conference has become a virtual gathering. Scholarship presentations, writing workshops and author presentations will be conducted online throughout the month.

The conference is a recipient of a Tennessee Arts Commission grant.

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All events are free and open to everyone. Presentations and workshops will be offered on Zoom and/or Facebook Live.

This year’s theme is “Eco-Appalachia: Preserve, Sustain, Protect.” Links to all presentations can be found on the college’s website at ws.edu/special-events/mildred-haun.

Also find details at the conference’s Facebook page at: facebook.com/MildredHaun.

Following are events scheduled as part of the conference:

Feb. 6, 10 a.m. – Nonfiction Workshop with Rosemary Royston, assistant professor of English at Young Harris College and author of “Splitting the Soil.” (Zoom)

Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m. – “The Paranormal Press: ‘True’ Ghost Stories from Tennessee Newspapers” presented by Dr. Michael Sobiech, associate professor of English at Carson-Newman University. (Zoom and Facebook Live)

Feb. 12, 1 p.m. – “Looking at Ourselves in Our Writing” with Danielle Byington, founder of Sight into Insight and instructor of English at East Tennessee State University. (Zoom)

Feb. 13, 10 a.m. – Fiction Writing Workshop with Chrissie Anderson Peters. Peters is the author of “Dog Days and Dragonflies,” “Running from Crazy” and “Blue Ridge Christmas.” (Zoom)

Feb. 18, 6:30 p.m.  – “Toward Ecocentricism in the Mountain South: Forage and Specter Mountain” with Micah McCrotty, an adjunct professor at Johnson University.  (Zoom and Facebook Live)

Feb. 20, 10 a.m. – Songwriting Workshop with Guy Larry Osborne and Diane Krause, who together form Osborne/Krause. This workshop will examine their songs and those written by others to illustrate how a song comes to life. (Zoom)

Feb. 22, 6:30-8 p.m. – “Kiss My Grit,” storytelling and music with Marci Salyer Nimick, storyteller and associate professor of speech at Walters State. (Zoom and Facebook Live)

Feb. 25, 5 p.m. – Announcement of the recipient of the Mildred Haun Award of Excellence (Facebook Live)

Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m. – Keynote Speech with Karen Salyer McElmurray. Her most recent novel, “Wanting Radiance,” was released in 2020. Here nonfiction collection, “Voice Lessons,” is under contract Iris Press.(Zoom and Facebook Live)

Feb. 27, 12:30 p.m. – Poetry Workshop with Matthew Wimberley, assistant professor of English at Lees-McRae College. ( Zoom)

Feb. 27, 5 p.m. – Bluegrass performance with Ten Penny Drive. (Zoom and Facebook Live)

Questions about the conference may be directed to Kelsey Solomon, assistant professor of English and chair of the Mildred Haun Conference, at 423-585-6963 or Kelsey.Solomon@ws.edu.